The Buffalo Sabres are in full rebuilding mode and are hoping to become a playoff threat in the coming years after the reconstruction of their roster.
Becoming a Stanley Cup threat, however, may be even tougher.
The Eastern Conference is the weaker conference by a substantial margin, in the opinion of most. If the LA Kings beat the New York Rangers in the finals this year, it will mark the sixth time in eight years that the Western Conference has won the Cup. Take that, and add the fact that the East gained two Western teams in Detroit and Columbus during the realignment, and the result could be Buffalo being stuffed in the basement for longer than they had hoped.
The Sabres are struggling in a conference that is inferior to its counterpart. Teams like the Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks and the aforementioned Kings are powerhouse teams, while the closest the East has to compete with them is Boston, who couldn't even make the finals this season. Even if Buffalo is able to become relevant in the East soon, they will be a few years away from being able to compete with the West in a Stanley Cup finals series.
Right now, the Sabres are focused on restructuring their roster in order to become competitive. Once that task is complete, they will need to figure out a way to be a legitimate threat against championship caliber teams, and that could still be years away.
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